Deb Haaland Proposes Making Gig Employers Pay Workers’ Taxes
Uber and Lyft drivers launched a strike on Wednesday to demand fair working conditions ahead of Uber's estimated $90 billion IPO. Congresswoman Deb Haaland (D-NM) also thinks these types of employers need to pay up and provide better conditions for their “contractors.” She announced that she would introduce a bill that would require Uber, Lyft, and similar multinational corporations to pay both the employer and employee portions of payroll contributions for their independent contractors. For traditional workers (W-2 employees), employers pay half of Social Security and Medicare contributions. In contrast, independent contractors are fully responsible for the entire 15.3% contribution -- both the employer and employee portion. A large and growing number of American workers are employed as independent contractors. Best estimates are that Uber alone has over a million active drivers in the U.S. And in 2015, most Uber drivers in the U.S. were non-white. “Uber and other billion dollar multi-national corporations are not paying their fair share. Instead, they are passing the buck to their workers, increasing financial insecurity for folks who are working hard to put food on the table and keep a roof over their heads. The gig is up,” Haaland said. “Large companies have found a loophole to dodge standard labor practices and employer contributions to Social Security and Medicare, thereby denying workers a variety of protections and benefits accorded to traditional workers, including a guaranteed minimum wage and retirement security.” Haaland said this bill would strengthen Social Security, protect workers' retirement, and disability protections while providing a strong deterrent against misclassifying workers. More here.